In recent years, some historians specialising in the eighteenth century have published insightful works on the role played by the Maltese literati during this period and they are all in agreement that de Soldanis deserves much more importance than has ever been accorded to him. Although his linguistic input has long been recognised, especially through the effort of the late Joseph Cassar Pullicino, the monumental figure of Mikiel Anton Vassalli has overshadowed that of de Soldanis and we feel that such an unbalanced attitude is neither accurate historically nor does it do justice to the development of the Maltese language. In fact, de Soldanis was responsible for a number of initiatives in support of Maltese. One of his more significant merits was that through his writings, a new and fruitful contact was made available to foreign scholars interested in the Maltese language. His correspondence with foreign philologists and literati is evidence of the esteem in which he was held. It is our hope that through this edition of the Journal of Maltese Studies , this esteem will be enhanced in our own times as well.